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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the purpose of the academy?
A: For the participant to have some knowledge of the training received by the officers of the Saint Paul Police Department. For a better understanding of the policies and procedures that govern their everyday duties. For the Saint Paul Police Department to gain a better perspective of the issues that are important to the citizens. Another purpose of the academy is to open communication between the department and the citizens of Saint Paul.
In addition, successful completion of the Citizen's Police Academy is a prerequisite to serve on the St. Paul Police Citizen Internal Affairs Review Commission. Click here for information. 

Q: Is there a charge for this program?
A: No. The CPA is funded from the Chief's office budget each year if allowed.

Q: What do I get for attending the CPA?
A: Upon graduation you will receive a group photo, individual photo with Chief Thomas Smith , and a personalized golf shirt with your name and CPA logo.
Q: How much volunteer time do I have to commit to after the CPA?
A: There is no obligation upon completing the CPA. Several graduates have gone on to become Police Reserve Officers, or helped the department on short term projects. Some alumni have participated in oral testing for Parking Enforcement officers and Community Service officers as well as helped on national conferences being hosted by the Saint Paul Police Department, but  there is no obligation.

Q: What are the requirements for attending the CPA?
A: There are 3 requirements:
Must be resident of Saint Paul or own a business within city limits Must be 21 years of age or older Must not have a criminal history (a background check is performed).

Q: What is included in the background check?
A: A national and local criminal history check will be performed on every applicant . A check of driving status will also be done. Some driving violations will not exclude an individual from attending the CPA, but other violations may. Each application is reviewed by the Coordinators, and the Chief of police for exceptions.

Q: How often is the CPA offered?
A: The sessions are offered two times a year when allowed .One class in the spring and the other one in the fall. When dates have been set for next CPA, announcements will go out in the form of a press release. A running file is kept of those who wish to participate, but could not because of the class size (30).

Q: How do I apply for the CPA?
A: Applications are available at the local District Council offices in the area of residence, or by e-mailing or calling e-mail(651) 266-5583 for information and applications.

Q: Where do I park? Will I get tagged?
A: A map will be provided to all participants showing where to park for evening classes. A temporary parking sticker will also be provided.

Q: Do I have to be in good physical shape? (Are there weight or height requirements? Do I have to run or jump, etc.?)
A: There are no physical requirements. you will not be asked to do anything you do not want to participate in. You make the decision on your level of participation.

Q: Who teaches the classes?
A: Police department instructors (the same ones who teach at the police academies) are the instructors for the Citizen Academies.

Q: What type of a grade must I maintain? Is there any homework?
A: No grades will be kept. No homework will be assigned.
Q: Will I be dropped from the class if I have to miss some classes?
A: An 80% attendance rate must be maintained. Without this attendance requirement participants will not benefit from the academy.
Q: Is it possible to ride along with an officer during their shift?
A: The Ride-along program is coordinated by the Community Services Unit. However, CPA alumni submit written requests to the Community Services Unit(651) 266-5485 to allow for tracking. Requests should include specific dates, times, areas and perhaps officers the individuals would like to ride with. The requests will then be submitted to the Community Services Unit. The CSU will then contact the individual and do the actual scheduling as they have the individual districts' rosters. If specific questions arise, individuals can call or e-mail 
e-mail at (651) 266-5583

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